Chardonnay: Articles on the Chardonnay White Wine Grape Varietal

Cosentino Winery

The Vibe: 

Housed in an ivy-covered, French-chateau styles stone building, the family owned Cosentino winery continues to produce a wide variety of wines. While zinfandel comprises much of the 70,000 case production, visitors to their just-north-of-Yountville tasting room can sidle up to the copper counter and try a pinot grigio, chardonnay, cab, sangiovese, pinot noir or merlot. Winemaker Mitch Consentino prides himself on producing a wide variety of artisanal wines using traditional methods.

Particularly good if you are seeking: 
  • Groups
  • Small, private events (e.g. wine/cheese pairings)
  • Those seeking to try several different varietals sourced from several different areas
Not good for: 
  • Tours
  • Weddings
  • Picnics
Known For: 
Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sangiovese
Pictures: 

Locations

7415 St. Helena Hwy
Yountville, CA 94599
United States
38° 24' 23.094" N, 122° 22' 9.5988" W
7415 St. Helena Hwy
Yountville, CA 94599
United States
38° 24' 23.094" N, 122° 22' 9.5988" W
Phone Number: 
7079441220

Hill Family Estate

The Vibe: 

Right next door to the acclaimed Bistro Jeanty, and fronting the beautiful Antique Fair antique shoppe, the tasting room of Hill Family is a natural stop between lunch and shopping. While the antique store has been around for more than three decades, the tasting space is less than two years old, but you wouldn’t guess this as you step through the recycled doors into the antique-bedecked room. 19th century French furniture, salvaged from the cellars and attics of French chateau, greet you upon entry and beckon you to the back. Before you begin browsing however, you must stop at the tasting counter and pick up a pour of the chardonnay, pinot, or Origin, so you have something to sip as you admire the heavy woods and fine finishes on the armoires, tables, chairs, desks, and other stout pieces in the store. Linger long enough, and you may forget you aren’t in France.

Particularly good if you are seeking: 
  • Antique enthusiasts/shoppers
  • Small to medium sized groups
  • Small, private tastings
Not good for: 
  • Large groups
  • Tours
  • Picnics
  • Weddings
  • Events
Known For: 
Origin (Cab/Merlot/Malbec Blend), Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon
Pictures: 

Locations

6512 Washington Sreet
Yountville, CA 94599
United States
38° 24' 4.1436" N, 122° 21' 35.7192" W
6512 Washington Sreet
Yountville, CA 94599
United States
38° 24' 4.1436" N, 122° 21' 35.7192" W
Phone Number: 
7009449580

Mike Grgich: The "King of Chardonnay" on the Past, Present, and Future of Napa Valley Wine

A legend in Napa Valley, Croatian born winemaker Mike Grgich has witnessed -and played a major role in- the transformation of Napa Valley from rural farm town to international wine superpower. His Chardonnays have been victorious at two of the most celebrated wine tastings in modern history. In 1976, the Chardonnay he crafted for Napa's Chateau Montelena beat the best wines France had to offer in the wine industry altering Judgment of Paris. A year later, he partnered with Austin Hills of the Hills Bros. Coffee family to launch Grgich Hills Cellar. The extraordinary winemaking continued as in 1980 Grgich Hills Chardonnay beat 221 other Chardonnays for first place in a blind tasting at The Great Chicago Showdown. The moniker "The King of Chardonnay" soon followed. I had the great fortune of chatting with Mike Grgich recently. What follows is his take on the past, present, and future of Napa Valley wine and Grgich Hills.

Wildcat Mountain: Carneros' and Sonoma's Coolest Vineyard

When veteran winemaker Steve MacRostie went looking for a new vineyard to plant his chardonnay, pinot noir and syrah he discovered Wildcat Mountain in the Carneros/Sonoma region.  "I felt Wildcat would push the envelope, something untried.  The cooler climates, the stressful site, the thinner soils; this is not a safe place to set up a farming operation.  In a business sense it was probably rather stupid," he said plainly.

Tandem Wines' Greg La Follette on Terroir, Points, and Pinot Noir

Greg La Follette is one of the most revered winemakers in Sonoma County, if not the entire wine industry. His wines at both Flowers and his own label, Tandem Wines, have earned numerous accolades. In person, however, his prominence seems more like water under the bridge. Strikingly unpretentious and engaging, Greg La Follette shows far more interest in what you think about his wines today than he does about how they score or what critics say. IntoWine had the good fortune of chatting with Greg recently about winemaking, terroir, and the blessed curse of wine scoring systems.

Freeman Winery: A Tail of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay & Hurricane Gloria

It's almost like a Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan film. A young man meets the woman of his dreams after his sailboat is chased ashore by a hurricane. Marriage and career success ensue and years later the happy couple end up running a Sonoma winery that just so happens to produce some of the finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in all of California. Yes, Ken Freeman's life story may indeed be one of which movies are made. I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Ken Freeman about his eponymous winery, Freeman Vineyard and Winery, as well as his unique path to becoming a revered wine maker.

From Chardonnay to Pinot Noir: Brice Cutrer Jones Discusses the Evolution of a Winemaker

Brice Cutrer Jones is virtually synonymous with California Chardonnay (Hint: Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay).

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